TUARAN: The Sabah government aims to reduce the rate of hardcore poverty by at least 70 to 80 per cent in the state by the end of this year, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
He said a total of 22,510 household heads have been categorised as hardcore poor in the e-Kasih system so far.
He said the Sabah government is confident that the target to reduce the rate of hardcore poverty in the state is achievable through several initiatives that have been introduced, including providing business capital aid and Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) affordable homes to the affected groups.
“In addition, provide job opportunities to children from hardcore poor families. The names of these hardcore poor are coordinated by the SMJ Secretariat. We will send the name list of these hardcore poor to government agencies, government-linked companies and factories so that they can be given employment opportunities,” he said.
The Chief Minister said this when met by reporters after handing over the aid agency’s participation letter for the pilot programme to reduce the rate of hardcore poverty in Tuaran and the appointment of MySMJ Kerja initiative workers here today.
In addition to channelling cash aid to the targeted group, Hajiji said the Sabah government views efforts to provide employment opportunities for children from hardcore poor families as one of the holistic methods to help them get out of the shackles of poverty.
“We give priority (for job opportunities) to children from hardcore poor families so that they will be employed in government agencies, government-linked companies and also investors who come to Sabah. They are obliged to hire or appoint children from hardcore poor families from the e-Kasih list,” he said.
Meanwhile, the SMJ Secretariat said in a statement that Sabah recorded a total of 101,113 hardcore poor heads of households under the e-Kasih system.
It said the MySMJ Profiling system was developed to store and analyse data and provide targeted assistance to household heads and members based on e-Kasih, with Tuaran chosen as the pilot district for the system implemented last November.
The implementation of the MySMJ Profiling system is currently underway in all districts and the framework to speed up the programme of eradicating hardcore poverty will also be expanded statewide according to the matching of interventions, including short-, medium- and long-term initiatives. – Bernama